Beko's CEO reckons that people don't have a strong enough reason to use connected appliances.
Speaking at IFA where most other manufacturers seem to have been droning on about the "connected future", Hakan Bulgurlu said he was “a believer” in connected appliances, but also stated that there was “a lot of work to be done”.
He said; “The connected home is obviously a very popular theme – China is leading the way, as Chinese consumers demand connected appliances. But when you ask people who’ve bought a connected appliance if they’ve actually connected it or not, trust me, almost none of them have. This is because there’s no real story – what is the consumer use case?”
“At Beko, we are spending all our energy on trying to understand how we can save people time or make things much easier for them. The way I believe connected appliances will work is, for example, if your washing machine filter is getting clogged, a sensor will send us a message and will send someone to pre-emptively service it, so it doesn’t break down.”
He also cited another example of a dryer knowing what laundry is in a washing machine so it will automatically do the drying for you – the user won’t have to control it. But what we want to know is, how does the load get from the washing machine into the dryer? Or is this just for washer dryers?
Asked what consumers wanted from a smart home he said: “They want it to be secure – what they don’t want is for their appliances to be hacked. For us, that’s the number-one priority.
“I think people will remotely want to see what their appliance is doing and they’ll want to use it when energy costs are low – that kind of use case is coming and that’s what we’re focusing on at Beko.”
At least one manufacturer appears to be taking security seriously as most don't seem to bothered about it.
Now, if they can just get past the fact that most use cases are bunkum, get around the obsolescence through software being abandoned and get people to care, then maybe connected appliances might all go swimmingly.
But we doubt it.